Scrum and marketing can be very strong allies. Especially for plannable work, Scrum can help you to work more effectively, create focus and learn more often. In the end, these aspects lead to more successful marketing campaigns, maximized value and continuous surprises for your customers. This promise makes Scrum a good framework to start your Agile journey with. However, be aware of the pitfalls. This blog outlines the most common pitfalls of Scrum in Agile Marketing and gives some practical tips on how to prevent them.

Agile Marketing - Scrum Pitfalls
Agile Marketing – Scrum Pitfalls

Lack of clear goals
We often see this: Having no clear and simple-to-remember goals in your organization or marketing department, teams tend to wait-and-see behavior and do only what they are asked to do. This is not what Agile Marketing wants to achieve when taking about self-organizing and empowered teams.

To prevent this pitfall we advise to:
– Define one or more inspirational goals for the organization and your marketing department;
– Deeply understand them by repeating the question ‘Why?’;
– Be transparent on the progress towards these goals.

To be able to do that, it is important to define a set of KPIs and measure them frequently – preferably every iteration.

Focus on efficiency, not effectivity
We often see marketers running against the clock and working overtime to get all their work done to reach their targets. The Scrum Framework is created to help focusing on the most valuable work that needs to be done. But, we also see marketers using Scrum to seek for possibilities to maximize their efficiency – trying to get the same amount of work done even faster?!

To prevent this pitfall remember this fact: with the Agile mindset it is not important to do as much work as you can, but to learn as fast as you can what your customers really want. We advise to decide together with your team what values the most when creating campaigns. And doing no more additional work.

Blindly following the Scrum framework
The Scrum framework describes a set of roles, events and artefacts. We often see that implementing the Scrum framework, as written down in the Scrum guide, becomes a goal of itself. Most teams only focus mainly focus on the process, not maximizing the value.

To avoid this, we advise to focus on the why and what your team needs to do to learn how to achieve this. Using Scrum can help, but not using Scrum and applying the Agile mindset can help as well. There are more Agile frameworks to look at.

Underestimating the change itself
Every change has an enormous impact on people and teams involved. This applies for starting with Scrum as well. It even requires a change in mindset and culture. This is often underestimated.

We advise to give your marketing teams:
– Space to learn how to best coop with the change itself;
– As much support as possible – clear goals, trainings, et cetera.

Concluding, there are pitfalls to keep in mind when starting with Scrum in marketing. With this article we addressed some of them and shared our learnings with you on how to prevent them.

We’d like to share more experiences and learnings with you in our Agile Marketing training. Hopefully see you soon!


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